CHARDON, Ohio-- A new law, inspired by the tragic shooting at Chardon High School, was signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
House Bill 318 was co-sponsored by Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R-76) and Rep. John Patterson (D-99), and received bipartisan support.
“They set aside differences, as far as Republican and Democrat, working together and for the common goal,” said Tim Armelli, a CHS teacher and president of The Coach Hall Foundation.
The Coach Hall Foundation was founded by Coach Frank Hall, who chased the gunman from the school building Feb. 27, 2012. Three students were killed in the shooting.
“We started this foundation with the idea of keeping Danny (Parmetor) and Demetrius (Hewlin) and Russel’s (King Jr.) memory alive through this, to do the best we can to never let this happen again,” Hall said.
For several years Hall, Armelli and other members of the foundation of worked with lawmakers on HB 318, with the ultimate goal of getting a qualified school resource officer in every building.
“It provides $12 million to the schools of Ohio through a grant process,” Armelli said. “The law provides requirements for SROs, school resource officers, as well as what they’re training is going to be.”
The money will also be used for security improvements in school buildings, and intervention programs, with a significant focus on mental health issues, assessments and specialists.
“Put professionals in their buildings, people trained in child development people, trained in child psychology, because right now the only way we stop these is word of mouth,” Hall said.
The law also better defines and outlines the usage of expulsion and suspension in terms of disciplinary actions.
The result is a law and plan The Coach Hall Foundation hopes will not only save lives in Ohio, but eventually across the country. They say this is just the beginning. They plan to travel from “statehouse to statehouse” meeting with lawmakers.
“Trying to be proactive,” Armelli said. “We’re gonna lead the nation as far as protecting our kids in our schools, every state now has a blue print from Ohio to use.”